Malory's Library: The Sources of the Morte Darthur

Malory's Library: The Sources of the Morte Darthur

Ralph Norris





New study of Malory's sources reveals much about how the work was created and about Malory himself.
The first book-length study of the sources of Sir Thomas Malory's Morte Darthur since 1921 and the first comprehensive study since that of Vinaver's three-volume edition, Malory's Library collects the results of over one hundred years of scholarship, providing new discussions of the major sources of the eight tales recognised in the standard edition. It also, for the first time, explores possible minor sources of the Morte Darthur, evaluating the case for them to see what conclusions may be drawn of Malory's life, work, and mental furnishings. In so doing, it clarifies the process by which Malory created his work. It shows that Malory carried an eclectic body of literature in his mind and worked at least partly from memory; and it illuminates his interest in characters of his own social class, the breadth of his enthusiasm for Arthurian literature, and the depth of his commitment to provide his countrymen with "the hoole book of kyng Arthur and of his noble knyghtes of the Round Table".

RALPH NORRIS teaches in the Department of English at Kennesaw State University.

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March 2008
198 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Arthurian Studies
ISBN: 9781843841548
Format: Hardback
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Table of Contents

The Sources of "The Tale of King Arthur"
The Sources of "The Tale of Arthur and Lucius"
The Sources of "The Tale of Sir Launcelot"
The Sources of "The Tale of Sir Gareth"
The Sources of "The Tale of Sir Tristram"
The Sources of "The Tale of The Sankreal"
The Sources of "The Morte Arthur"
Appendix: Analogues to Malory's "Love and Summer" Passage
Works Cited


Well researched, though not always well presented (incomplete references and typos abound), Norris's book will inform all new studies of Malory's sources. YEAR'S WORK IN ENGLISH STUDIES

Offers a solid and extremely useful examination of Malory's sources, the most comprehensive to date. THE RICARDIAN
User-friendly for both beginner and specialist alike. [...] This meticulously researched monograph is bound to inspire and challenge both established specialists and younger critics. MEDIUM AEVUM
An important work: all students of the Morte Darthur should read Norris's introduction and conclusion, and scholars working on particular tales will have to consult the relevant chapters. [...] Norris has begun to open up to us the working of Malory's mind and memory. SPECULUM
A careful, thorough and clearly written study of various works Malory must have known when writing Morte Darthur. [...] A tremendously useful book on Malory's sources. Scholars will be using it for years to come. JOURNAL OF ENGLISH AND GERMANIC PHILOLOGY
Ralph Norris is a reliable and judicious guide through these murky waters, and he has performed a signal service to Malory scholars by gathering in one volume summaries of the arguments concerning Malory's minor sources, together with in most cases the relevant extracts from the source texts. REVIEW OF ENGLISH STUDIES
Norris has a keen ear and eye for the minor sources as well as an extensive knowledge of previous scholarship. [...] The book is smartly produced. Every serious Malory scholar needs to have it to hand. TLS
Important and indispensable for all those who enjoy reading Malory with academic interest. THE LIBRARY

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